Advice from Industry Executives

What they need from college graduates with suggestions from the WWU Bulletin

Analytical capabilities: graduates need to have much stronger analytical capabilities.

Discrete mathematics   
MATH 206 Statistics  
MATH 250 Discrete Mathematics  
PHIL 206 Introduction to Logic  
MATH 123 Survey of Calculus  
GBUS 366 Operations Management and Production

Communication skills: The need is for persons who have good communication skills.

ENGL 121, 122 College Writing  
ENGL 223 Research Writing  
ENGL 325 Writing for the Professions 
GBUS 270 Business Communications 
GBUS 370 Advanced Business Communications  
& Other writing courses
Speaking SPCH 101 Fundamentals of Speech Communication  
SPCH 207 Small Group Communication  
SPCH 310 Interpersonal and Nonverbal Communication  
SPCH 401 Introduction to General Semantics  
SPCH 443 Persuasive Speaking

Flexible and self-motivated in learning new skills and in making transitions both in technology and organizational structures.

While there are no specific courses to meet this recommendation, the broad selection of courses listed in this document and the exposure to a range of technology skills combined with an internship, international experience and a capstone experience with leading edge technology should help to prepare the student to handle change.

General Education, Liberal Education, Social Perspective: They need to be broadly educated and have a global perspective.

ANTH 225 Cultural Anthropology  
PSYC 130 General Psychology  
SOCI 204 General Sociology  
SOCI 236 Racial and Ethnic Relations
Foreign Language study  
International History  
French, German, Spanish  
HIST 274,5 History of England  
HIST 242 Modern East Asian History  
HIST 284 History of Latin America  
HIST 285 History of Mexico
International BusinessECON 488 International Economics  
MKTG 488 International Marketing
International Experience Study abroad, International travel, CSV
ENGL 359 World Literature  
PHIL 205 Introduction to Philosophy  
RELH 403 World Religions

Organizational perspective and understand the larger issues and problems with which employers deal:  The need is for persons who understand how large organizations function, who understand project management, who can function effectively in teams, and who are adaptable to changing corporate needs.

GeneralGBUS 160 Introduction to Business
Economics ECON 204 Fundamentals of Economics  
ECON 211 Principles of Macro Economics  
ECON 212 Principles of Micro Economics 
MarketingMKTG 381 Marketing
Management &   
organizational behavior 
MGMT 371 Management and Organizational Behavior  
MGMT 471 Organizational Change and Development  
MGMT 476 Motivation and Leadership  
ENGR 326 Engineering Economy  
ENGR 345 Contracts and Specifications  
ENGR 480 Manufacturing Systems Engineering
InternshipCPTR 494 Cooperative Education/Internship
Teamwork &   
project management
CIS 315 Systems Analysis and Design  
CPTR XX Software Engineering  
CPTR 496-8 Seminar  
ENGR 326 Engineering Economy  
INFO XXX Creative Problem Solving  
MGMT 371 Management and Organizational Behavior  
MGMT 476 Motivation and Leadership  
SPCH 207 Small Group Communication  
SPCH 310 Interpersonal and Nonverbal Communication

Technical Skills and Management of Information: The needs are greatest in the area of data modeling, database management, and hands-on database manipulation. Programming skills are fine--it is the management of information where recent graduates are weakest."  The following is a core group of information technology skills.

PrerequisitesINFO 105 Personal Computing  
CIS 240 Intermediate Business Applications
Programming SkillsCIS 130 Intro Busn App Programming (Visual Basic)  
CPTR 141 Introduction to Programming (C++, Java)  
CPTR 142-3 Data Structures and Algorithms
Data modeling  
Database management  
Database manipulation
CIS 440 Database Management Systems  
CIS 445 Database Management Applications  
CPTR XX Database Management System Design
Additional skillsCIS 250 Telecommunications  
CIS 290 Intro to Network Administration  
CPTR 221-2 Programming Languages  
CPTR 352 Operating System Design  
CPTR XX Networking

Reference: Report of the Strategic Planning Group PSU

Parting quote:

"If you can get me a young person who can divine the problems of imagery in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, it would take me just a half hour to teach that person how to break down a balance sheet. Teach kids the humanities, and give them a broad liberal education, and I'll teach them business skills. I hate schools that have been co-opted by business. I'd rather you taught people to think, because the limiting factor in executive development these days is people who can't do lateral thinking. Instead, they have a vocational skill or a technical skill, and it runs out of gas very, very early. The ones who will end up in the top 20 jobs in the organization worldwide are people who can stand back and examine the context in which business operates and can connect the dots in creative ways and transform the business congruent with some of those directions. You can't do that if your head is down all the time..." Matthew W. Barrett, Bank of Montreal, Canada


Page maintained by Jonathan Duncan
Last update on April 7, 2010